Album Review: BABYLON A.D. – Revelation Highway


Babylon A.D. – Revelation Highway

Label: Frontiers Music

Release Date: November 3, 2017

I hold a special place in my heart for Babylon A.D. and their brand of soulful hard rock swagger. I grew up with these Bay Area boys plying their wares first as The Persuaders, and ultimately as Babylon A.D. I find it pretty impressive that these three decades later the crux of the original line-up remains intact with inveterate frontman Derek Davis, drummer Jamey Pacheco, bassist Robb Reid, and guitarist Ron Freschi. Founding member and guitarist John Matthews has returned to the fold to fill the void left by Danny De La Rosa.

Babylon A.D. is celebrating 30th anniversary with the release of its long overdue fourth studio album, Revelation Highway. The new album finds the band returning to its bluesy heavy rock sound that they moved a bit away from with 2000’s American Blitzkrieg. From the opening riffs of “Crash and Burn” it is readily apparent that Davis and crew have regained their classic strut. The song fits right in with Babylon A.D. classics like “Bang Go the Bells,” “The Kid Goes Wild,” and “Hammer Swings Down.” Derek’s gritty vocals sound as fresh as they ever did.

“Fool on Fire” begins with an acoustic guitar and emotive vocals; a mid-tempo rocker with a hooky chorus that recalls a bit of vintage Y&T as does “I’m No Good for You.” “One Million Miles” adds some keyboard elements and has something of a Midwestern flavor to it that gives it a languid and stirring feel.

With tracks like “She Likes to Give It,” “Saturday Night,” and “Rags to Riches,” the band delves back into its scorching 80’s hair metal groove. Meanwhile songs like “Tears,” “Don’t Tell Me Tonight,” and “Last Time for Love” resonate with big harmonies and infectious melodies.

With Revelation Highway, Babylon A.D. has crafted an album that could easily have been the natural successor to its eponymous ’89 debut and ’92’s sophomore effort, Nothing Sacred. All of the classic components that made Babylon A.D. one of hard rock’s true up-and-comers in the late 80s can be heard on Revelation Highway. It’s taken 25 years to get our ears on it, but the B.A.D. boys are back with one of 2017’s most irresistible sweat and swagger, glam n’ roll records. An album that is as relevant today as it would have been a quarter century ago. Buckle up for Revelation Highway.


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